Jacuzzi Hot tub User Manuals
It started with that icon of laid-back living, the redwood hot tub. Before long, fiberglass versions with circulating jets appeared called “spas.” Today the terms “hot tub” and “spa” are used interchangeably, but because most units are jetted, spa is the term more commonly used. Spas range in size from two-person models costing about $2, 000, to 20-foot-long swim spas costing $18, 000 or more. In between are those most popular for decks: 4- to 8-person models costing from $2, 500 to $10, 000.
Choosing a spa can be challenging. You’ll need to select from a dazzling number of accessories, including cup holders, colored LED lights, iPod docks, stereo systems, pop-up TV screens, and even waterproof keyboards.
“The gadgetry is there to catch your eye while shopping, ” cautions Erich Johanson, an experienced spa installer in Olympia, Wash. He recommends choosing established manufacturers and narrowing your choice from there. “Look at the national brands and find one you like, ” he says. “Then chose a model that has the features you want.”
His top recommendation is for “full-foam” insulation—a high-density, closed-cell polyurethane foam that fills the cavity between the fiberglass tub shell and the outer cabinet and helps reduce heat loss. In addition, full-foam insulation helps reduce noise and adds stability to the entire unit.
Check installation costs as well. They’ll be dependent on the size of the spa and the ease of getting it where it needs to be. In some cases, limited access may require the use of a crane to lower the spa into place. For an 8-person spa, expect about $300 for delivery and setup.
Adding structural components to carry the weight
The safest—and most cost-effective—location for a spa is the lower level of a deck. A deck only a few steps above ground, if built to code, should be able to support 100 lbs per sq. ft.—a filled 8 x 8 spa at 6, 000 lbs. works out to about 94 lbs per sq. ft., just within limits. Check your local codes for any restrictions governing the installation of a spa on a deck.
Even better is a reinforced concrete pad, a great option if you’re planning a new deck or intend to add on to an existing deck. A 4-inch slab will safely bear 115 lbs per sq. ft.
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